Closing Update: Stocks End Lower Again Despite Fed Officials Assurances on Tapering


Stocks continued to drift lower Monday, with all three of the major market indices finishing with moderate declines as investors parced comments by several Federal Reserve officials for fresh signs of when the central bank will scale back its bond-buying stimulus program. Shares of financial companies posted the steepest fall among the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 while Tech stocks finished the session in the black as a group, lifted by 5% advance for Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) after the sector heavyweight said it sold about 9 million of its new iPhone models this weekend.

Remarks this morning by Fed Presidents Bill Dudley and Dennis Lockhart sought to calm fears of an October taper suggested by St Louis Fed President James Bullard last week. Investors remain on the fence, however, fearful data later this week could provide the ammunition supporting a reduction in the central bank's bond-buying program.

Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher also spoke today, saying he disagreed with the decision to not taper asset purchases, believing it is undermining the Fed's reliability and increasing market uncertainty. Fisher is non-voting member of the Federal Open Markets Committee this year.

Today's economic reports did little to inspire the financial markets. The Markit Purchasing Managers Index for September declined slightly from August to a 52.8 reading, trailing consensus estimates for a small improvement to 54.0. But the Chicago Fed national activity index showed dramatic improvement in August to a 0.14 reading from a negative 0.15 score during the prior month.

November crude oil fell $1.28 to $103.58 per barrel while October natural gas slid 9 cents to $3.60 per 1 million BTU. December gold fell $5.30 to $1327.30 per ounce while December silver fell 4 cents to $21.87 per ounce. December copper was down 2 cents to settle at $3.30 per pound.

Here's where the markets stood at end-of-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 49.71 (-0.32%) to 15,401.38

S&P 500 down 8.07 (-0.47%) to 1,701.84

Nasdaq Composite Index down 9.44 (-0.25%) to 3,765.29


Hang Seng Index down 0.56%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 1.33%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.59%


(+) CRME, Publishes positive data from open-label study comparing its vernakalant intravenous treatment to oral doses of propafenone or flecainide in patients with atrial fibrillation.

(+) AAPL, The new iPhone 5S was met with very strong demand, with about 9 million units sold - a 50% bulge over most market estimates.

(+) BBRY, Agrees to $9-a-share buyout offer from a consortium led by its biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (FFH.TO). Overall value of the deal is $4.7 billion.


(-) C, Financial Times reports the bank's trading revenue fell sharply compared to year-ago levels due to a mid-summer slowdown.

(-) P, Shares of the internet radio service respond negatively to expected competition from Apple's ( AAPL ) iTunes Radio included in the new iOS 7 software update.

(-) FISH, Pipeline company slides to new 52-week low after expanding its board to now encompass a majority of independent directors. Also announced pro-rated Q3 cash distribution to unitholders of $0.23 per unit.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AAPL

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